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Our June Charity of the Month is the Melodramatics

HCR104fm is delighted to announce that our Charity of the Month for June is the Melodramatics.

Melodramatics originally formed in 1990 at Spaldwick School from a group of teachers, governors and parents to perform a pantomime and raise money for the school and pupils. Our first pantomime in 1991 was Aladdin and was a real amateur event with stage blocks borrowed from Littlehey prison, no stage curtains and a general “make-do” approach. This was a roaring success, great fun and loved by the children and parents alike. Subsequently we went on to perform another 11 shows at the school, raising the standards of the singing, dancing, set design and performance with each show.

In 2003, Health and Safety concerns meant that we could no longer perform at the school and the group moved to the Mandeville Hall in Kimbolton and renamed ourselves Melodramatics. In Kimbolton we had a proper stage and better facilities. We continued to put on annual pantomimes to the pleasure of the local community performing 16 annual shows raising money for local charities such as EACH (the children hospice), riding for the disabled, Dreamdrops and other local charities mainly supporting young people.  Overall we estimate that we have raised over £35000 for local charities during our existence.

We outgrew Kimbolton and needed a bigger and more practical venue therefore moved to Buckden Hall where we are now based. Our shows in 2019 and 2020 were very successful and reached new heights in terms of professionalism and quality whilst maintaining the originality and fun.

Melodramatics have won two awards for the “Best Pantomime” in the area from the National Operatic and Dramatic  Association ( NODA) which is a nationwide group for amateur dramatic groups. NODA attend and review virtually every amateur show performed by their affiliated companies in the area and then present awards to the companies performing the best shows. For Melodramatics to win twice, once for Alice in Wonderland in 2016 and then again for Aladdin in 2019 is national recognition of the quality and content of our shows.  We are delighted that this year again NODA have awarded us the best panto for this year’s production of Rumplestiltskin an accolade indeed.

Our planned pantomime in 2021, like many other shows, both professional and amateur, was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic and for 2022 we have postponed our show to the summer, 8-10th July 2022 to break the mould again by doing a summer pantomime based on the story of Rumpelstiltskin. To our knowledge this story has not been performed as a pantomime before so we hope to present an original interpretation of this fairy story in pantomime format.

Our company comprises approximately 50 members and Melodramatics has a tradition of presenting novel shows with strange twists that keep the audience thinking as well as including the usual pantomime content: Dames, comedy, slapstick and plenty of double entendres to amuse the parents. Our original scripts are written specifically for us by our talented scriptwriters and our sets are designed and built by the members.  Music, singing and dancing are fundamentals of the show and performed by a very talented cast and band to give fast paced fun shows. We are fortunate to have a professional voice coach/musical director, a trained choreographer and professional lighting and sound engineers as part of the company providing a great expertise to enhance our quality performances.

As a “not-for-profit” company we continue to raise money for local charities through raffles, bucket collections and donations at each show.

Contributed by David Alexander.